Northampton Town manager Keith Curle has accused Port Vale defenders Nathan Smith and Leon Legge of “wrestling” giant six foot five inches striker Harry Smith.
Many Vale fans felt that Smith and Legge have had an excellent start to the season and youngster Smith’s aerial dominance of Smith despite the nearly half a foot height difference was a notable feature of Saturday’s game.
However, referee David Rock has been the subject of heavy criticism of his performance. He was notably cricised for the award of a corner to Northampton which lead to Town’s equaliser, when no Vale player touched the ball. Curle’s comments will add to the list of complaints against the official.
“I didn’t think our centre-forward got very well protected. It was more like a WWF wrestling match with all the high balls.
“I spoke to the assistant on the side of the pitch and he said they were both at it. Well, if they’re both at it, I’ll tell my player it’s OK to do it because at the time he was only reacting.
“He was being pulled and pushed first and foremost and then when he whistles he gives a free-kick against him, so I don’t think that evened itself out.”
Vale fans may disagree with that comment as the Valiants targetman Tom Pope was also the subject of similar manhandling by a robust Town defence. Just like Smith, Pope saw a number of decisions go against him.